Boardgame fans may be familiar with the tabletop studio, Tabula Games. The Italian studio has had their share of unique crowdfunded projects in the past, all of them limited print runs, all made with a focus on creative freedom and support. Well, they have a new project coming soon to Kickstarter in 2022 called Ryozen.
According to Tabula Games' official website, Ryozen will be their first major project for 2022. It is a worker placement game meant for 2-4 players with a layered rotating board as well as multiple scoring and resource engines available. Players impersonate courtiers who are competing to gain the favor of the Radiant Phoenix, who is the queen of the land of Ryozen. To do so, they will rely on their Kin, who are different characters that can perform unique abilities as they are sent to work for the good of the realm.
In short, it appears Ryozen contains many characteristics of a Eurogame. There's a high emphasis on unit placement and resource engine building with thoughtful placement on the board. In addition to managing elements from six different parts of the board, the central piece representing the Radiant Phoenix's palace can be rotated, with whatever place it faces giving bonuses and additional resources to certain parts of the map.
We reached out to Tabula Games to learn more about Ryozen. They were quite forthcoming with interesting stories about the game's design process. For example, the game was originally going to be more historical and set in feudal Japan under the title Sengoku. But over time they decided to go in a more fantasy-oriented direction after a few years of playtesting iterations. As for more in-depth stories about the craft, Tabula were coy, stating that the lead designers, Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini, would go into further detail through Designer Diary posts on Board Game Geek.
As for details about Ryozen's Kickstarter campaign, Tabula Games were upfront. To directly quote a representative, "This campaign will be different from our previous ones for several reasons, first the possibility is open to our followers to win a demo with the digital prototype before the launch. We are sure that this game can win players over the best through hands-on experience, we have tried some playtests and the results have been very exciting. Rewards for returning backers will be back as always through Tabula Pulse, our loyalty program that rewards those who support Tabula projects over time, and Tabula Friends, the initiative that gives discounts to those who bring new friends. There will also be something new about the Early Bird, we'll unveil it later."
The Kickstarter campaign for Ryozen will go live in early 2022.